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Effective contemporary fixture kitchen lighting is an important design element.

Do you wish to learn how to plan kitchen lighting?

It is essential to have effective kitchen lighting illuminating work surfaces and counter tops. These fixtures need to be carefully located to avoid creating shadows when you work. Sufficient light in the kitchen is crucial and it needs to be carefully planned and designed.

Kitchen and bathroom electrical circuitry need heavy-duty wiring because of the type of appliances used that require more power. Both the kitchen and bathroom use a great deal of electricity in a typical home.

Installing dimmer switches is a very good idea, because doing so will allow you to change the atmosphere of your kitchen from a practical working space to a more romantic eating area and it will reduce your utility bills.

You should maximize no-cost daylight by having windows and skylights when possible plus keeping kitchen wall surfaces light in color to reflect more of the light.

Lighter kitchen floors are sometimes a good idea because they also reflect light and will make the room look larger.

For artificial kitchen lighting - consider using fluorescent tubes, halogen bulbs, even beautiful chandeliers, wall or ceiling sconces, rustic pendant lights, lamps that have shades - these are efficient and great light sources for food preparation.

Your kitchen should have the following kitchen lighting sources:

1- General Lighting - high hat, hanging fixtures or pendants, track lights, recessed fixtures and chandeliers in the center of the kitchen are commonly used and can be very attractive. These kinds of fixtures provide overall general light for the major spaces in the home.

These type of fixtures should be controlled by dimmers where you can change the intensity of the light.

Dimmers are a good idea because they will extend the life of the bulbs or lamps, will improve your utility bills and will create a flexible illumination plan.

Sufficient light is essential to the atmosphere of any room and it has an impact on how easy it is to see what you are doing when you are cooking.

The light level is also related to how comfortable you feel in the room with your family and friends and how easy it is to clean up.

A kitchen with dark surfaces, dark color or finishes will require more lights than those with bright or shiny surfaces. Dark colors absorb light and glossy and light matte surfaces reflect light.

2- Ambient or mood lighting - these fixtures come from indirect lighting and they create a soft glow in the room. For example, lights above the upper cabinets will create a softer, more relaxed environment in the room.

3- Task Lighting - under-cabinets fluorescent, halogen, pendant and recessed ceiling lights or desk lamps are good examples of what should be used in this kind of room.

Task lighting pointing directly to the counter top or over the sink are good options for cooking.

Pendants and recessed ceiling lights are ideal and often used to provide lots of illumination over eating tables or working islands in the kitchen. Recessed lighting can also be used in areas where spot lights are required to illuminate a working area.

Task lights focus more intense illumination on work areas. Make sure that you place switches near the working areas.

Types of bulbs or lamps you may use:

• Fluorescent bulbs - are less expensive, energy efficient, and the type of light that these bulbs produce is cooler than incandescent bulbs. However, a fluorescent bulb is difficult to dim but is great for general lighting.

• Halogen bulbs - they cost more initially and they generate quite a bit of heat, but they produce a very bright white light and they use less energy and wattage.

• Incandescent bulbs - this type of light is more like sunlight and is a much warmer color that will be flattering to people and food. They are easy to dim but they produce a lot of heat and use more electricity.

• Fiber optics - this type of illumination has the advantage of not generating much heat.

Experiment and use a mixture of these four types of bulbs in your kitchen lighting to create the effect and drama you may want in the room.

4- Accent Lighting - low voltage light inside cabinets with glass doors will look very beautiful. Perhaps you may choose other focal points in your kitchen and highlight artwork, glassware or pottery that you may want to show off.

Indirect kitchen lighting above wall cabinets can add drama to your room and can wash the wall and ceiling - giving it a beautiful effect.

Accent kitchen lighting works well when you have a corner cabinet that is dark. This type of low voltage illumination can work by a touch switch or by wiring it to a hinge so the lights get turned on when you open the door or touch the switch.

Books about illumination and modern kitchen pendant lighting for kitchen.

Recipes and Ideas - Lighting & Simple Solutions for the Home by Sally Storey.

This book teaches you lighting techniques, going far beyond the standard one-overhead-light-per-room and discussing the possibilities of down-lighting, wall-washing and several other important concepts.

Other chapters are divided into individual rooms, covering general needs such as bright lights in the bath, reading lamps in the bedroom and presenting a variety of unusual solutions.

Organized room by room, this generously illustrated guide offers creative solutions for a wide range of needs.

The Landscape Lighting Book by Janet Lennox Moyer

Book that covers all stages of how to design, install and maintain the lighting of gardens, indoor and outdoor landscapes.

Cabin Kitchens and Baths by Esther Schmidt, Franklin Schmidt

This resource looks at the challenges of decorating or remodeling bathrooms and kitchens in log homes, small cabins spaces, unusually shaped rooms, lighting issues and more.

Offers suggestions in the log home building industry on cabinetry, appliances, furnishings, architectural details, color, design and decor and floor plans that will help make a dream kitchen or bathroom a reality.

From floor to ceiling, these rooms are the most complex in a home, and are even more so in a cabin or old log home. This book is a must-have for anyone remodeling or redecorating a cabin or log home.


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